Friday, January 29, 2010

BUDGET BELLE: Sayonara, Sulfates!

I can't commit to one brand of shampoo or conditioner. I've tried countless times, but the idea just doesn't seem to take. I honestly don't believe I'm cut out for that lifestyle. Let's face it - I will likely never be loyal to one brand.

I can't help but want to try every new beauty product out on the market. My bathroom is overloaded with half-full shampoo and conditioner bottles. (I fully maintain that one needs to rotate through different products in order to keep your hair shiny and healthy.) Regardless, I've come to settle on one golden rule of haircare products that I can stick to. No sulfates.

You probably have no idea what I'm talking about, but there's a method to the madness. Go check the label on your shampoo and conditioner. Do you see some form of "sulfate" on the ingredient list? Yeah, I thought you might. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is probably at the top of the list - it's the most common sulfate found in shampoo.

You're probably thinking "so what?" Well, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate causes hair to dry out, which means you'll probably use more conditioner to try to add moisture back into your locks. See those hard-earned dollars going down the drain along with the shampoo suds? I thought so.

The chemical is also known to cause color-treated hair to fade - again, more money spent in the salon chair getting those "natural" blonde highlights. Not to mention the fact that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can irritate your skin and, in the most drastic cases, even lead to hair loss. I'm rather fond of my hair, thank you very much.

Since I would rather not throw money (not to mention excess hair) down the drain, I only use sulfate-free hair products. That doesn't mean I have to spend a pretty penny to look pretty. You can find sulfate-free hair products at your nearest drugstore. One of the brands in my current rotation is L'Oreal's EverPure line of shampoos and conditioners. I've been using these products for about a year and have been really pleased with the results - shiny, healthy, color-rich hair. And at less than ten dollars, I'm sold.

So what if I can't commit . . . for right now I'm perfectly content to do as the song says and love the one I'm with.

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